Plague Hospital (1798 – 1800) by Francisco Goya

Plague Hospital - Francisco Goya - 1798 - 1800

Artwork Information

TitlePlague Hospital
ArtistFrancisco Goya
Date1798 - 1800
Dimensions32.5 x 57.3 cm
Art MovementRomanticism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Plague Hospital

The artwork “Plague Hospital,” created by the illustrious Spanish artist Francisco Goya between the years 1798 and 1800, is an oil painting on canvas that encapsulates the thematic and stylistic sensibilities of the Romanticism movement. The genre painting measures 32.5 by 57.3 centimeters and, as of the last known record, resides within a private collection.

“Plague Hospital” by Francisco Goya depicts a somber and poignant scene, reflective of the despair and helplessness often associated with epidemic sickness. The composition is dominated by shadowy figures, bathed in the dismal, hazy light that filters through a solitary window, symbolizing perhaps a glimmer of hope amidst the overwhelming darkness. The individuals portrayed are in various states of suffering, with some lying lifelessly on the ground, others seated in despair, and a few appearing to tend to the sick. The artwork’s dusky tones and loose brushwork lend an air of urgency and emotional distress to the environment, encapsulating the essence of turmoil and human tragedy that was a signature subject of the Romantic period. Goya’s masterful use of chiaroscuro intensifies the dramatic effect, directing the viewer’s attention to the stark contrasts between light and shadow, underscoring the harsh reality within the walls of the hospital. Overall, the painting is a powerful representation of human suffering during times of crisis, and the emotional intensity inherent in Goya’s work.

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